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Given that this is a piece of jewellery that may be worn everyday or almost everyday for possibly many decades to come, it makes sense to consider choosing a gemstone or gemstones that will tolerate the elements as best as possible. Not all gemstones are equal in durability as some are more porous than others and will absorb chemicals more readily, which can damage them. Gemstone durability, or hardness, is measured in terms of the Mohs scale, 10 being the most durable. It is a good idea to choose a gemstone with at least a 7 on the Mohs scale for an engagement ring, so let’s take a look at stones that rank highly on this almighty scale. For further information about the Mohs scale, please visit https://www.gemsociety.org/article/select-gems-ordered-mohs-hardness/
Perhaps the reason diamonds have been the most popular choice for wedding and engagement rings is because they are the hardest precious gemstone with a 10 on the Mohs scale, and therefore are the most resistant to wear and tear. In addition, they come in a variety of cuts to create absolutely stunning and timeless designs. There are few stones that provide the same brilliance and fire of diamonds through their reflection and refraction properties. They are usually white or colourless, but if you are looking for a dash of colour in the diamond, be prepared to pay a high price for these precious jewels.
If colour is important, but you’d rather not blow your finances, two other precious gemstones include rubies and sapphires, and these have a nice, hardy number 9 on the Mohs scale. Rubies are a stunning choice for engagement rings and make for a classy ring with a splash of colour. Afterall, red is the colour for love and fidelity, so this seems fit for the purpose. Sapphires are another good choice and come in a variety of colours, not just the most common one, which is blue, from yellow to peachy pink to purple and green. They even come in black or colourless. Look for a vibrant colour stones with high transparency, and check whether they have been heat treated to improve their colour, which isn’t ideal.
The last true precious gemstone on the list is emerald, which is a beryl stone. The best quality emeralds boast an 8 on the Mohs scale so can withstand most permeants that it’s exposed to, but they are prone to chipping, and therefore are more expensive to set into jewellery. Emeralds have a vivid green colour or green with a slight blueness, which look amazing in both contemporary, traditional or vintage designs.
Next we come to the semi-precious stones, and since there are so many kinds, we’ll stick to those that are highest on the Mohs scale to help narrow things down. Alexandrite is a form of chrysoberyl and can come in a range of colours but is usually a purply/blue stone. It has an 8.5 on the Mohs scale so is an excellent choice for an engagement ring with a friendlier price tag than precious gemstones. Topaz, with its fitting symbol of friendship, is another outstanding choice with its absolutely gorgeous sky-blue hue, and a perfectly acceptable Mohs rating of 8. It also can be found in other colours including pink, pale green, orange, red and white.
Coming in at 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale; aquamarine is a spectacular option, with an icy blue tinge; spinel, which is mostly seen in antique jewellery but is increasing in popularity and comes in many different colours; and morganite, a form of beryl and showcasing a romantic soft pink hue, making for an absolutely stunning ring, especially when highlighted with other red stones or a diamond halo.
There are many other semi-precious stones out there, but these are our top picks for beauty and durability, and if you stick to one of these options you are surely to please her with an engagement ring she’d love to wear everyday.